Deciding what to dunk one’s chips into is a very serious and frequent topic of discussion in our house. Ketchup? Mayo? Mushy peas? Curry sauce? I’m a bit of a ketchup fiend myself, and if its got a kick of chilli to it, all the better. Here’s something a little bit different, slightly spicy, vibrantly purple and a little bit awesome – beetroot & chilli ketchup. Perfect for slathering on your favourite veggie burger, to accompany a veggie ‘full english’, or indeed for dunking those chips in.
I’ve been experimenting with ketchup-making for a while, starting with a tomato mountain from our allotment a few years ago, and branching out into other additions, (apple, various herbs and spices, red wine, a courgette or two, or any other vegetables I had lying around…!).
But this is definitely one of my favourites – particularly as a winter ketchup, and would make such a lovely homemade gift, (if you can bear to give any away once you’ve tried it).
I had a bunch of beetroot lurking in the fridge, hence roasting it in the oven in step 1. But I’ll let you into a little secret… if you want to make this really quickly, you could use ready-cooked vacuum-packed beetroot instead. It will still taste great, just remember to try it before bottling and adjust the sugar/vinegar/salt/chilli to your own taste.
When the only gadget I had to blitz ketchup until smooth was my little hand blender, I would always pass it through a fine sieve to get that nice smooth, glossy consistency. But today I used my wonderful Froothie Optimum 9200A to whizz it up instead, and guess what… (sorry, I’m becoming a Froothie bore aren’t I), it’s as smooth as silk without any sieving required, and I’ve avoided turning my sieve pink. Win-win!
Beetroot & Chilli Ketchup
- 1 kg beetroot (about 12 medium-sized beetroot)
- 2 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds if you prefer a milder chilli flavour!)
- 1 tsp salt
- 175 ml red wine vinegar
- 70 g soft brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Place the beetroot (whole and un-peeled) in a large piece of foil, drizzle with a little oil, wrap up to enclose them and place on a baking tray in the oven for an hour. After the hour is up, test each one with a sharp knife - if it passes through easily, the beetroot is cooked so remove it. Return any which aren't cooked to the oven and keep testing every 10 minutes until they are all tender.
- When they have cooled, peel the beetroots, trim the ends and chop into small-ish pieces.
- In a large saucepan, heat the sunflower/rapeseed oil and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and cumin, and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the beetroot, chilli, salt and red wine vinegar, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and leave to cool for a few minutes. Spoon the beetroot mixture into a blender or food processor, and blitz on the highest possible speed for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth.
- Return the ketchup to the pan, then add the sugar, bring to the boil, and lower to a very gentle heat. Cook until the ketchup has reached a good consistency - mine took about 5 minutes, but it depends on the water content of your beetroot (and how thick or pourable you prefer your ketchup!).
- When it has cooled slightly, pour into warm, sterilised bottles or jars. The ketchup will keep, (ideally in a cool, dark place), for 3 months, and once opened, in the fridge for 2 weeks.
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And if you’ve missed any of the recipes in my Christmas Hamper series so far, try:
- Bintu’s Spiced Tomato Ketchup from Recipes from a Pantry
- Choclette’s Homemade Chilli Sauce from Tin & Thyme
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